My Minimalist Wardrobe: Meet the Shoes!

Chapter, Fashionably Light

Sep 12 2013

Gold Tape

“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” – Marilyn Monroe.

On an urban adventure, everything from your style to your mood depends on that foot coverage. Comfy and snazzy are of equal importance.

If you can invest in one wardrobe staple only, put your money on shoes. Quality over quantity. But also rotate through your collection – better for your feet and your shoe maintenance.

Want to say hello to my five beautiful pairs?

1. The Docs ~ Dr Martens

My Minimalist Wardrobe: Meet the Shoes!


The most comfortable shoes I have Ever. Worn. I know I just said to change your shoes every day, but I struggle to follow that rule in winter since these shoes are warm, and snuggly, and big enough to fit over my layers of wooly socks. Docs are the best for city walking, hands down.

2. The Seattle Shoes ~ Dansko

My Minimalist Wardrobe: Meet the Shoes!

My newest pair! In desperate need of comfy heels, I had a hunch that Seattle’s Market Street Shoes might be my place [and they were]. Comfier than flats, these are easy to slip on, and quirk up any outfit. I had them rain-proofed before wear, anticipating London-y drizzles.

3. The Malvolio Shoes ~ Shoe Embassy

My Minimalist Wardrobe: Meet the Shoes!

The day after I was cast to play Malvolio in Twelfth Night I spotted this spiffy things. If you know the character, I’m sure you’ll agree – these shoes are a Malvolio costume must. I love to wear pieces I inherit from costumes – in high school I lived in my Victorian Mrs Lovett heels. The backstory adds dimension to daily dress-up, and challenges me to bring out a different side of my style – I don’t think I would have picked up these shoes if it weren’t for the theatrical incentive, and now I can’t imagine my wardrobe without them!

The heels were wearing thin, so I had them fixed at The Master Cobbler in Palo Alto – they were made magically new! Highly recommended. There’s a zen about caring for one’s shoes.

4. The Panda Heels ~ Irregular Choice

My Minimalist Wardrobe: Meet the Shoes!

I told my mother, quite sensibly, that it was about time I purchase some work-appropriate heels. I walked out of the store with these. Okay so I veered away from the plan. But they’re inspiring. And as walking shoes go, they are surprisingly sensible. Anything that straps my foot in is a step towards comfort and stability. [There’s a secret for you.] Plus they have pandas on them.

5. The Chuck Taylor Boots ~ Converse for Schuh

My Minimalist Wardrobe: Meet the Shoes!

eyed these for months before finally purchasing for an occasion: the annual Exeter College Ball’s theme was Carnivalia, and while most donned Venetian masks, I decided to go for the Xandra interpretation – an American fun fair! I donned my Betsey tutu, and for the occasion purchased a Janine Basil starband and – ta da! – these Converse boots. I was going for the thigh highs Alison Pill wears in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen; these are the knee sock version. And for a party taking place on front quad grass, sneaks were the best option.

These shoes cover my fashion and comfort needs. I continue to dream about Miu Mius and United Nude Barbie shoes; it’s all part of the process. If I feel the same way months down the line, perhaps I’ll take the plunge.

miss xandra bee
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